Talk about frustrating!
You’re doing everything by the book – you’re eating right, you’re exercising religiously. You’re even taking a detour on the way home from work so you don’t have to drive through the fast food gauntlet. Despite this, your fat loss has stuttered to a grinding halt. You’re desperate to get some traction back on your journey to a slimmer you. Read on to discover 5 not so obvious reasons why those scales won’t budge – and what you do about it.
Hack #1: Eat More Food!
When you severely limit your calories, your body will switch into starvation mode. This will cause it to stubbornly cling to every ounce of fat that it can. The best thing you can do is to eat a diet that is balanced with ample amounts of muscle supporting protein, while controlling carbohydrates and fats to meet your daily caloric needs. Everybody’s different but as a general rule of thumb you should never consume fewer than 10 calories per pound of bodyweight. So, a 130-pound person should not go below 1,300 calories per day.
Hack #2: Get Better Sleep
Sleep quality and body weight are proportional to each other; when you can’t sleep, you will inevitably find yourself prone to gaining weight. Sleep deprived people are far more likely to crave for processed carbohydrates than for fats or proteins. Sleep deprivation also impacts upon the two most important appetite controlling hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin suppresses the appetite while ghrelin encourages it. When you can’t sleep, you produce more ghrelin and less leptin. That is a disaster if you’re trying to lose wight.
Be sure to get 6-8 hours sleep each night. Keep your technology – including your phone – out of your bedroom and make your environment as dark, comfortably cool and quiet as possible.
Hack #3: Switch to HIIT
High Intensity Interval Training is a super intense form of cardio that will exponentially ramp up your fat burn – especially if you’re used to doing boring steady state cardio. It will burn more calories while you are actually doing the movement but that’s not the end of the story. The huge oxygen demands that HIIT places on your body causes an increased metabolism to supply that oxygen to the various parts of your body. As a result, you will be burning more calories for up to 24 hours after your workout is finished. This phenomenon is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC).
HIIT involves performing short intense bursts at top speed followed by even shorter periods of rest. Here’s an example using the rowing machine . . .
Begin with 2-minutes of full even strokes at a slow pace. Build up your speed over that second minute. As soon as the timer hits 2 minutes, begin rowing at maximum intensity. For 20 seconds give it absolutely everything, ensuring that you are still getting a full row and extension on every pull. Then pause for 10 seconds before going into your next sprint. Repeat this process for 8 rounds. Finish with a 2-minute warm-down.
This workout will take a grand total of 8 minutes, including 4 minutes of warm up / warm down. Yet, it will turn you into a fat burning machine over the next 24 hours.
Hack #4: Train Early
Getting your workout in first thing in the morning has been shown to be the best time of day for consistency. And consistency is the number one factor in determining weight loss success. When you work out early, you get it done before the distractions and pressures of your day encroach upon your plans.
Exercising straight out of bed has also been shown to give the metabolism a boost so that you burn more calories for the same amount of effort. Early morning workouts are also the best way to set yourself up both mentally and physically for a terrific day!
Hack #5: Clock It
Often people who are trying to lose weight cruise their way through their workouts. Many of them spend more time training at their phone than actually working out. That is a surefire way to fail. Instead you need to flip the script by putting yourself on the clock.
Try a fantastic military training protocol called EMOM (Every Minute On The Minute). Here’s how it works . . .
Give yourself a rep target to perform of an exercise. Let’s say that you want to do 20 reps of push-ups. You are going to do 5 rounds for a total of 100 reps. Perform your first set with your stopwatch alongside. Let’s say it take 49 seconds to get your 20 push ups done. You now rest for the balance of that minute. As soon as 60 seconds is up, you move into your second set. If this one takes 51 seconds, then you’ve got just 9 seconds to rest before set 3. Continue going until all 5 sets are done.
If this sounds like an intense way to train, you’re right – and that is why it works!